International organizations such as regal marine are aware that the basis of their success is in the product or service they sell to their customers. With many competitors all over the world, the superiority of an organization’s products is the key to gaining a competitive edge in the market (Pantaleo, & Pal, 2008).
Therefore, organizations have recognized the need to provide the best service to their customers for them to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors and thus stay relevant in the market. Regal marine is a luxury boat making company that was established in 1976 in Vermont. The company has had a good reputation as a quality boat maker and this has contributed to its steady growth over the years (Heizer & Render 1996).
Regal marine adopts the concept of product lifecycle in its portfolio of products by regularly launching new products into their existing portfolio of over 22 models. However, these models are at varied product lifecycle and this means that new models are regularly introduced as older ones are removed from their production lines due to completion of their lifecycle.
Their products’ lifecycle are often divided into four consecutive stages which are: introduction, growth, maturity, and the decline stage. Their products’ lifecycle are at times as short as three and a half years and this is due to the regular changes in the boat market meant to meet the different customer preferences in trends and styles and also to gain competitive advantage.
The main source of competitive advantage in the market has always been recognized as the knowledge of consumer needs and the ability to predict future consumer preferences. This is done by reviewing past consumer trends (Harrigan, 2003). For instance, not so long ago, the company introduced the three passenger Rush, which was sold at $11,000.
It was a small powerful boat that was a favorite product for water sports especially for water-skiers, but by the year that followed they had to introduce the 20 foot in-board out-boards boat since their competitors were catching up with the Rush. Subsequently, they introduced the redesigned, luxury 42 foot Commodore.
Due to the shortness of some of their products’ lifecycle there has always been a need to invest in a consistent flow of new ideas on different designs to maintain their competitive advantage.
With these many innovations in the pipeline, their engineers and designers have had to work extra hard to keep up with the tight schedule of releasing new products. The beginning of their product lifecycle involves the designing of new products where contributions from consultants, dealers and their customers are carefully taken into consideration.
They have always tailored their products to meet this customer, consultant and dealer preferences and due to these changing preferences in the market, Regal Marine has been forced to speed up its innovation process by soliciting the participation of critical suppliers early in the design stages. This is because the sooner they get their specific raw materials, the sooner they can launch these new products into the market (Heizer & Render 2001).
The company has been forced to invest in quality production in order to maintain and service a more loyal customer base. This is all geared towards maintaining a competitive advantage in the luxury boat market. They are also required to strictly incorporate the different government regulations and tax requirement into their organizational culture to avoid legal liabilities that may be costly to the company.
The proposed design is then forwarded to the styling studio, where Computer Aided Design (CAD) machines are used to accelerate the process of development. This technology aids the Regal Marine engineers in sketching boat designs and the graphic programming of this technology drafts the desired geometry of the intended boat design.
This technology speeds up the design process as data used by engineers such as the boat’s dimensions, the strength of materials used, and the total weight of the finished product are automatically calculated by a computer program (Heizer & Render 1996).
They first production stage is where they make a foam-based carving that is then used to make the fiberglass moulds for the decks and the hulls. This technology also serves as a virtual test subject of the finished product and with its use engineers can see what the finished product will look like hence avoiding the extra costs of having to modify a faulty finished product.
Traditional drafting techniques have been identified as being labor intensive hence more time is consumed in drafting and they also leave room for too many errors, hence contradicting their quality production policy. With the adoption of CAD technology, the company’s profit margins are also maintained at high levels and they are able to in invest more in innovations and technologies that their competitors have not yet acquired.
Besides the CAD technology they have also had to integrate innovative communication systems to ensure that everyone in the organization is aware of the company’s mission, goals and grand strategies (Pantaleo & Pal, 2008). This has made the implementation of these strategies to be timely and thus successful in the long run.
Harrigan, K.., R. (2003). Declining demand, divestiture, and corporate strategy. Frederick, Maryland: Beard Books.
Heizer, J. and Render, B. (1996). Production & operations management. Prentice Hall series in decision sciences. New York: Prentice Hall.
Heizer, J. and Render, B. (2001). Principles of operations management. New York: Prentice Hall
Pantaleo, D., C. and Pal, N. (2008). From Strategy to Execution: Turning Accelerated Global Change into Opportunity. Sustainability and innovation. Warren: Springer